An armoire is often referred to as the ‘queen of antiques,’ and rightly so. The outward grandeur and elegance of these versatile storage pieces are a quintessential ‘French style’ addition to any room in your home – no matter what your predominant decor style may be. Simply understated or boldly ornate, a vintage or antique armoire will always create visual interest and a functional focal point.
In the 16th century, the original French ‘armarie’ was used to store weapons. But by the 17th century, their beauty and utilitarianism had evolved into the much-loved decor statement pieces we appreciate today. And we believe every home can benefit from a little French inspiration in the form of an antique armoire.
“Not only do armoires provide capacious storage and fantastic versatility, but their design impact is just what’s needed when you want to add some spice and energy to a room.” –Mike Dietrich, interior designer.
Interior designers agree – few pieces add as much flair as an antique armoire. So let’s spice up the spaces in your home with armoires, linen presses, secretaires or bombe chests. (They even have us speaking a little French!)
‘La boudoir’ (The bedroom)
So much more than ‘just a wardrobe,’ a bedroom or dressing room is one of the spaces where a vintage or antique armoire is most at home. Even if you have built-in cupboards, there is no such thing as too much storage space.
A bleached linen press or mirrored armoire adds so much character and romance. If you have the space, splurge on a bombe armoire. Looking for something smaller and grander than ‘just a chest of draws?’; a bombe chest (coming from the French word meaning “curved”), exudes French allure and your bedroom will immediately have a fairytale castle feel.
‘La salle de bain’ (The bathroom)
Bathrooms have really undergone a transformation as places of decor inspiration, making vintage and antique items seamless statement pieces. A glass-fronted secretaire makes perfect storage sense and is a delightful addition for displaying towels and toiletries without becoming too dominant in a smaller space. Beautifying your modern or traditional bathroom is as simple as adding an armoire.
‘Le salon’ (The living room)
The living room is definitely a space to show off an antique armoire or secretaire; they complement any period or style and the craftsmanship and artisanal elements create an imposing presence. They can easily be adapted to house the TV or become a stylish drinks cabinet. If glass-fronted, they are the perfect backdrop to display books or curated collections of objets d’art.
‘Le hall d’entrée’ (The entrance hall)
Entrance halls are wonderful opportunities to play with antique or vintage furniture pieces. As these transitional areas don’t usually need a lot of furniture, a bombe chest or linen chest becomes a wonderful decor filler, creating visual charm and personality as soon as you enter your home. A mirrored armoire doubles as storage for shoes, jackets, umbrellas and everyday paraphernalia as well as reflecting light.
‘La salle à manger’ (The dining room)
An antique armoire makes so much sense as a functional storage and refined decor solution in a dining room. Table linens, crockery, silverware and ceramic collections can all be housed or displayed beautifully in a charming linen press or glass-fronted armoire. A bombe chest works perfectly as a sideboard. And any of these pieces will work just as well in a kitchen. It’s all about visual story selling and conversation pieces.
La chambre d’amis (The guest room)
If you are absolutely in love with an antique armoire but don’t have place in any of the main living spaces, then the guest bedroom gives you an excuse to invest in one these timeless pieces. Linen cupboards are often absent in smaller contemporary home designs, and so a linen press in a guest room becomes the utilitarian and beautifully practical storage solution for overflow pillows, bed linens and guest towels.
La collection couronne (The Crown Collection)
Antique armoires are probably one of the best investment pieces you could possibly acquire. They are versatile, functional, timeless and beautiful. Each armoire will enhance the character of the space it occupies as well as becoming a beloved piece of furniture.
Find a piece to fall in love with at the Crown Collection where we have the largest curated collection of handpicked armoires, bookcases linen presses, secretaires and bombe chests.
Shop online and we will deliver to your door or visit us at our Emporium at 20 Ballyclare Drive, Bryanston.
(If you are not happy with the finish on any item, we will refinish your chosen piece of furniture with the following options: French polishing, hand gilding, paint techniques, bleaching, or staining darker or lighter).